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    Thoughts from a Volunteer of the Year

    Thoughts from a Volunteer

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Cody Harding | Nealie DeMott, 2019 Fort Campbell Volunteer of the Year for the Family Readiness Group...... read more read more

    Before Family Readiness Group Leader for Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Nealie DeMott received the 2019 Volunteer of the Year Award from 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Commanding General Maj. Gen. Brian Winski at Cole Park Commons, April 16, she wasn't expecting to win the honor. After all, no one she knew had told her a thing.

    "Whoever knew definitely knows how to keep a secret," Demott said. "I had no idea."

    Demott's husband, Capt. Hank Demott, HHC, 1-187th Infantry company commander, told McDott he had nominated her for the award. The nomination surprised her, however, especially given the hard work and dedication of some of the other nominated volunteer leaders.

    "I know a lot of the other people ... in the FRG category also put in a lot of time and effort in everything they volunteer with as well, so it was definitely was a surprise," Demott remarked, humbly. "I was not expecting it."

    Upon finding out about her nomination, McDott said she thought it was nice just to be appreciated for her work.

    "You do it because you love it and enjoy it. You don't do it to be recognized," explained McDott. "Like ... (the commanding general) mentioned, you do it because you care about it. At the same time, it's nice; it gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling whenever someone says 'We see what you're doing, and we want you to be recognized for that.'"

    "I think everyone that was nominated does a phenomenal job," continued DeMott. "(After all), that's why they were nominated."

    For McDott, the hardest part of her volunteer job is that in involves a lot of planning - taking time to figure out what works for the specific company for which you are the FRG leader.

    "Things that worked with the engineer battalion have been different for Leader battalion," Demott explained. "I think it's taking the time to find out what the company wants out of the FRG and what their expectations are, so you can meet the expectations for them."

    The DeMott family is planning a PCS this summer; they're heading to Hohenfels, Germany for Capt. DeMott's next leadership assignment. Mrs. DeMott already is looking forward to volunteering after they arrive at Hohenfels and has employeed Army Family Teambuilding to research opportunities to do so.

    DeMott said FRG leaders sometimes feel as if taking on this role is something they have to do because their spouses are either a commander or a first sergeant; or rather, they just get pushed into it. So, to potential FRG leader volunteers who are considering coming into positions such as Demott is leaving, she wants to share some advice.

    "Sometimes, when you first find out (about becoming an FRG leader), it may not be what you wanted to do, or what you saw yourself doing," said DeMott. "But, I think that trying to find joy in it, and doing what you love (is key).

    "You don't have to do it the same way I did it, or the same that another FRG company leader (did)," she continued. "But find your own way, and I think that makes it enjoyable for (anyone) - no matter who steps in .... Make it your own. Don't think you have to follow your predecessor's or anyone else's (path). If you have a different way of doing things, just own it."



    Date Taken: 04.16.2019
    Date Posted: 05.02.2019 10:16
    Story ID: 319572
    Location: FORT CAMPBELL, KY, US 

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